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Oct 11, 2011

Can you increase Longevity & Vitality?

Is it possible to control your health, longevity and Vitality?  The answer is yes by looking at your telomeres. A telomere is the DNA at the end of a chromosome, which protects the chromosome from deterioration.  Studies suggest that telomeres are responsible for aging on the cellular level and set a limit on lifespan.  Telomeres protect cell chromosomes from fusing with each other or rearranging.  Telemere abnormalities can lead many age related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, many cancers including pancreatic, bone, prostate, bladder, lung, kidney, and head and neck and pulmonary and hepatic fibrosis are linked to shortened telomeres.
In 2009 researchers (Blackburn, Grieder & Seustak) received the Noble Prize in Physiology of Medicine for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telemeres.
A study published in the May 3, 2005 issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation found that weight gain and increased insulin resistance were correlated with telomere shortening over time.  Type-two-diabetes is also associated with a shorter telomere length. Psychological stress is directly linked to telomere length the greater the stress the shorter the telomere length and the greater the risk for psychiatric disease.  Women with the highest amounts of stress had the shortest telomeres.  We can change the length of our telemeres and thus increase our life span.
In 2008, Dr. Dean Ornish of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and colleagues at the University of California at San Francisco conducted a study of 30 men with low-risk prostate cancer on the possible effects of lifestyle changes on telomeres. The findings of the study were published in The Lancet Oncology. The men were asked to make several lifestyle changes, including attending a three-day retreat; eating a diet low in refined sugars and rich in whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, with only 10 percent of calories derived from fat; and engaging in several other activities, such as moderate aerobic exercise, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises. Telomerase levels were measured at baseline, and again after three months, when researchers discovered that, in the 24 participants with sufficient data for analysis, telomerase in the blood had increased by 29 percent. The authors commented that "The implications of this study are not limited to men with prostate cancer. Comprehensive lifestyle changes may cause improvements in telomerase and telomeres that may be beneficial to the general population as well."
The larger the telemere length the longer we live.